Cancun

Local Experts: Cancun, Laura Winfree

By Local Expert Laura Winfree

Top Tours from Cancun

1
Xcaret

Xcaret

Located one hour south of Cancun is this immense nature park in the Riviera Maya. Visitors are invited to snorkel in the Caribbean shores, to partake in Mexican festivities (Mayan ball games; the aerial feats of the papantla performers), and to interact with the regional wildlife. While you’re at Xcaret, make sure to swim through the underground river and visit the butterfly pavilion—my personal favorite activities. 

2
Tulum

Tulum

Picture an ancient temple set atop a rocky cliff with the waves of the Caribbean Sea crashing on the beach below. That image is Tulum. This centuries-old Mayan city is a necessary addition to any Cancun vacation photo album. I recommend touring the ruins with a trained guide, who can narrate the scene with the city’s extraordinary historical background. 

3
Whale Sharks

Whale Sharks

Every May through September, whale sharks migrate to the Mexican Caribbean to feed on the plankton-rich waters. During the summer season, you can book boat tours from Cancun to snorkel alongside them on their journey. From head to tail, these enormous creatures can stretch to 45-feet long, making them the world’s largest fish. Don’t be alarmed by the word shark; whale sharks are peaceful and harmless filter-feeders.

4
Isla Contoy

Isla Contoy

Only a handful of tour companies have permits to take visitors to this secluded Caribbean island, allowing only 200 people a day onto Isla Contoy’s pristine white-sand beaches. The abundant wildlife includes stingrays, sea turtles, lobsters, and more than 150 bird species. The island provides a lush tropical haven for animals and visitors alike.

5
Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza

One of the most powerful cities of the Mayan civilization is now a history-packed tourist attraction. Most people know Chichen Itza for its central El Castillo pyramid and spring equinox events, but this ancient city holds so much more. My favorite building is the beautiful Observatory, once known as El Caracol. Its cylindrical dome reaches high about the thick surrounding canopies for a limitless view of the skies. 


Visit the Top Tours from Cancun

Chichen Itza
Carretera Mérida - Puerto Juárez Km. 120, 97757 Tinum, Yucatán, Mexico
9.5/10

People like this place

Historic Site
0
Isla Contoy
Quintana Roo, Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico
7.3/10

People like this place

Beach
0
Whale Sharks
Mexico
8/10

People like this place

Miscellaneous Shop
0
Tulum
Carretera Cancún-Chetumal 387 (Tulum), 77793 Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
9.5/10

People like this place

Historic Site
0
Xcaret
Carretera Federal 307 Km. 282, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico
9.5/10

People like this place

Theme Park
0
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